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Bitnami Parse Server for 1&1 Cloud Platform


Parse is a platform that enables users to add a scalable and powerful backend to launch a full-featured app for iOS, Android, JavaScript, Windows, Unity, and more.

First steps with the Bitnami Parse Server Stack

Welcome to your new Bitnami application running on 1&1! Here are a few questions (and answers!) you might need when first starting with your application.

What credentials do I need?

You need two sets of credentials:

  • The application credentials, consisting of a username and password. These credentials allow you to log in to your new Bitnami application.

  • The server credentials, consisting of an SSH username and password. These credentials allow you to log in to your 1&1 Cloud Platform server using an SSH client and execute commands on the server using the command line.

What is the administrator username set for me to log in to the application for the first time?

Username: user

What is the administrator password?

What SSH username should I use for secure shell access to my application?

SSH username: root

How do I get my SSH key or password?

What are the default ports?

A port is an endpoint of communication in an operating system that identifies a specific process or a type of service. Bitnami stacks include several services or servers that require a port.

Remember that if you need to open some ports you can follow the instructions given in the FAQ to learn how to open the server ports for remote access.

Port 22 is the default port for SSH connections.

Bitnami opens some ports for the main servers. These are the ports opened by default: 80, 443.

How to start or stop the services?

Each Bitnami stack includes a control script that lets you easily stop, start and restart services. The script is located at /opt/bitnami/ Call it without any service name arguments to start all services:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ start

Or use it to restart a single service, such as Apache only, by passing the service name as argument:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart apache

Use this script to stop all services:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop

Restart the services by running the script without any arguments:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart

Obtain a list of available services and operations by running the script without any arguments:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/

How to create a full backup of Parse Server?


The Bitnami Parse Server Stack is self-contained and the simplest option for performing a backup is to copy or compress the Bitnami stack installation directory. To do so in a safe manner, you will need to stop all servers, so this method may not be appropriate if you have people accessing the application continuously.

Follow these steps:

  • Change to the directory in which you wish to save your backup:

      $ cd /your/directory
  • Stop all servers:

      $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop
  • Create a compressed file with the stack contents:

      $ sudo tar -pczvf application-backup.tar.gz /opt/bitnami
  • Restart all servers:

      $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ start

You should now download or transfer the application-backup.tar.gz file to a safe location.


Follow these steps:

  • Change to the directory containing your backup:

      $ cd /your/directory
  • Stop all servers:

      $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop
  • Move the current stack to a different location:

      $ sudo mv /opt/bitnami /tmp/bitnami-backup
  • Uncompress the backup file to the original directoryv

      $ sudo tar -pxzvf application-backup.tar.gz -C /
  • Start all servers:

      $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ start

If you want to create only a database backup, refer to these instructions for MySQL and PostgreSQL.

How to upgrade the Bitnami Parse Server Stack?

To upgrade the Bitnami Parse Server Stack to the latest version, follow the steps below:

  • Change to the root user:

      $ sudo su
  • Stop the Parse server:

       $ /opt/bitnami/ stop parse
  • Update with npm:

      $ cd /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs
      $ npm update -g npm
      $ npm install parse-server parse-dashboard
      $ ../bnconfig --machine_hostname *SERVER-IP*

Remember to replace the SERVER-IP placeholder with the public IP of your machine.

  • Change file permissions:

       $ chown bitnami:daemon -R .
  • Restart the Parse server:

       $ /opt/bitnami/ restart parse

How to enable HTTPS support with SSL certificates?

NOTE: The steps below assume that you are using a custom domain name and that you have already configured the custom domain name to point to your cloud server.

Bitnami images come with SSL support already pre-configured and with a dummy certificate in place. Although this dummy certificate is fine for testing and development purposes, you will usually want to use a valid SSL certificate for production use. You can either generate this on your own (explained here) or you can purchase one from a commercial certificate authority.

Once you obtain the certificate and certificate key files, you will need to update your server to use them. Follow these steps to activate SSL support:

  • Use the table below to identify the correct locations for your certificate and configuration files.

    Variable Value
    Current application URL https://[custom-domain]/
      Example: or
    Apache configuration file /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/bitnami/bitnami.conf
    Certificate file /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.crt
    Certificate key file /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key
    CA certificate bundle file (if present) /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server-ca.crt
  • Copy your SSL certificate and certificate key file to the specified locations.

    NOTE: If you use different names for your certificate and key files, you should reconfigure the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile directives in the corresponding Apache configuration file to reflect the correct file names.
  • If your certificate authority has also provided you with a PEM-encoded Certificate Authority (CA) bundle, you must copy it to the correct location in the previous table. Then, modify the Apache configuration file to include the following line below the SSLCertificateKeyFile directive. Choose the correct directive based on your scenario and Apache version:

    Variable Value
    Apache configuration file /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/bitnami/bitnami.conf
    Directive to include (Apache v2.4.8+) SSLCACertificateFile "/opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server-ca.crt"
    Directive to include (Apache < v2.4.8) SSLCertificateChainFile "/opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server-ca.crt"
    NOTE: If you use a different name for your CA certificate bundle, you should reconfigure the SSLCertificateChainFile or SSLCACertificateFile directives in the corresponding Apache configuration file to reflect the correct file name.
  • Once you have copied all the server certificate files, you may make them readable by the root user only with the following commands:

     $ sudo chown root:root /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server*
     $ sudo chmod 600 /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server*
  • Open port 443 in the server firewall. Refer to the FAQ for more information.

  • Restart the Apache server.

You should now be able to access your application using an HTTPS URL.

How to create an SSL certificate?

OpenSSL is required to create an SSL certificate. A certificate request can then be sent to a certificate authority (CA) to get it signed into a certificate, or if you have your own certificate authority, you may sign it yourself, or you can use a self-signed certificate (because you just want a test certificate or because you are setting up your own CA).

Follow the steps below:

  • Generate a new private key:

     $ sudo openssl genrsa -out /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key 2048
  • Create a certificate:

     $ sudo openssl req -new -key /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key -out /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/cert.csr
    IMPORTANT: Enter the server domain name when the above command asks for the "Common Name".
  • Send cert.csr to the certificate authority. When the certificate authority completes their checks (and probably received payment from you), they will hand over your new certificate to you.

  • Until the certificate is received, create a temporary self-signed certificate:

     $ sudo openssl x509 -in /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/cert.csr -out /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.crt -req -signkey /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key -days 365
  • Back up your private key in a safe location after generating a password-protected version as follows:

     $ sudo openssl rsa -des3 -in /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key -out privkey.pem

    Note that if you use this encrypted key in the Apache configuration file, it will be necessary to enter the password manually every time Apache starts. Regenerate the key without password protection from this file as follows:

     $ sudo openssl rsa -in privkey.pem -out /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/server.key

Find more information about certificates at

How to force HTTPS redirection?

Add the following to the top of the /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/httpd-prefix.conf file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^/(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [R,L]

After modifying the Apache configuration files:

  • Open port 443 in the server firewall. Refer to the FAQ for more information.

  • Restart Apache to apply the changes.

How to debug Apache errors?

Once Apache starts, it will create two log files at /opt/bitnami/apache2/logs/access_log and /opt/bitnami/apache2/logs/error_log respectively.

  • The access_log file is used to track client requests. When a client requests a document from the server, Apache records several parameters associated with the request in this file, such as: the IP address of the client, the document requested, the HTTP status code, and the current time.

  • The error_log file is used to record important events. This file includes error messages, startup messages, and any other significant events in the life cycle of the server. This is the first place to look when you run into a problem when using Apache.

If no error is found, you will see a message similar to:

Syntax OK

Updating the IP address or hostname

Parse Server requires updating the IP address/domain name if the machine IP address/domain name changes. The bnconfig tool also has an option which updates the IP address, called --machine_hostname (use --help to check if that option is available for your application). Note that this tool changes the URL to http://NEW_DOMAIN/parse.

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/bnconfig --machine_hostname NEW_DOMAIN

If you have configured your machine to use a static domain name or IP address, you should rename or remove the /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/bnconfig file.

$ sudo mv /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/bnconfig /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/bnconfig.disabled
NOTE: Be sure that your domain is propagated. Otherwise, this will not work. You can verify the new DNS record by using the Global DNS Propagation Checker and entering your domain name into the search field.

You can also change your hostname by modifying it in your hosts file. Enter the new hostname using your preferred editor.

$ sudo nano /etc/hosts
  • Add a new line with the IP address and the new hostname. Here's an example. Remember to replace the IP-ADDRESS and DOMAIN placeholders with the correct IP address and domain name.


How to find the database credentials?

How to connect to the MongoDB database?

You can connect to the MongoDB database from the same computer where it is installed. Run the mongo client authenticating as the root user against the admin database:

$ mongo admin --username root -p

You will be prompted to enter the root user password. This is the same as the application password.

How to debug errors in your MongoDB database?

The main log file is created at /opt/bitnami/mongodb/log/mongodb.log on the MongoDB database server host.

How to access RockMongo?

For security reasons, RockMongo is accessible only when using as the hostname. To access it from a remote system, you must create an SSH tunnel that routes requests to the Apache Web server from This implies that you must be able to connect to your server over SSH in order to access these applications remotely.

IMPORTANT: Before following the steps below, ensure that your Apache and MongoDB servers are running.
NOTE: The steps below suggest using port 8888 for the SSH tunnel. If this port is already in use by another application on your local machine, replace it with any other port number greater than 1024 and modify the steps below accordingly. Similarly, if you have enabled Varnish, your stack's Apache Web server might be running on port 81. In this case, modify the steps below to use port 81 instead of port 80 for the tunnel endpoint.

Accessing RockMongo on Windows

In order to access RockMongo via SSH tunnel you need an SSH client. In the instructions below we have selected PuTTY, a free SSH client for Windows and UNIX platforms. The first step is having PuTTY configured. Please, check how to configure it in the section how to connect to the server through SSH using an SSH client on Windows.

Once you have your SSH client correctly configured and you tested that you can successfully access to your instance via SSH, you need to create an SSH tunnel in order to access RockMongo. For doing so, follow these steps:

  • In the "Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels" section, add a new forwarded port by introducing the following values:

    • Source port: 8888
    • Destination: localhost:80

    This will create a secure tunnel by forwarding a port (the "destination port") on the remote server to a port (the "source port") on the local host ( or localhost).

  • Click the "Add" button to add the secure tunnel configuration to the session. (You'll see the added port in the list of "Forwarded ports").

    PuTTY configuration

  • In the "Session" section, save your changes by clicking the "Save" button.
  • Click the "Open" button to open an SSH session to the server. The SSH session will now include a secure SSH tunnel between the two specified ports.
  • Access the RockMongo console through the secure SSH tunnel you created, by browsing to
  • Log in to RockMongo by using the following credentials:

    • Username: root
    • Password: application password. (Refer to our FAQ to learn how to find your application credentials).

Here is an example of what you should see:


If you are unable to access RockMongo, verify that the SSH tunnel was created by checking the PuTTY event log (accessible via the "Event Log" menu):

PuTTY configuration

Accessing RockMongo on Linux and Mac OS X

To access the application using your Web browser, create an SSH tunnel, as described below.

  • Open a new terminal window on your local system (for example, using "Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal" in Mac OS X or the Dash in Ubuntu).
  • Run the following command, remembering to replace SERVER-IP with the public IP address or hostname of your server. Enter your SSH password when prompted.

         $ ssh -N -L 8888: bitnami@SERVER-IP
NOTE: If successful, the above command will create an SSH tunnel but will not display any output on the server console.
  • Access the RockMongo console through the secure SSH tunnel you created, by browsing to
  • Log in to RockMongo by using the following credentials:

    • Username: root
    • Password: application password. (Refer to our FAQ to learn how to find your application credentials).

Here is an example of what you should see:


How to modify PHP settings?

The PHP configuration file allows you to configure the modules enabled, the email settings or the size of the upload files. It is located at /opt/bitnami/php/etc/php.ini.

For example, to modify the default upload limit for PHP, update the PHP configuration file following these instructions.

After modifying the PHP configuration file, restart both Apache and PHP-FPM for the changes to take effect:

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart apache
$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart php-fpm

How to modify the allowed limit for uploaded files?

Modify the following options in the /opt/bitnami/php/etc/php.ini file to increase the allowed size for uploads:

; Maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept.
post_max_size = 16M

; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 16M

Restart PHP-FPM and Apache for the changes to take effect.

$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart apache
$ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart php-fpm    

How to upload files to the server with SFTP?

Although you can use any SFTP/SCP client to transfer files to your server, the link below explains how to configure FileZilla (Windows, Linux and Mac OS X), WinSCP (Windows) and Cyberduck (Mac OS X). It is required to use your server's private SSH key to configure the SFTP client properly. Choose your preferred application and follow the steps in the link below to connect to the server through SFTP.

How to upload files to the server

Troubleshooting Parse Server

How to debug errors in Parse Server?

To debug Parse's errors, check the log files of Parse at /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/logs/.

How to add your custom cloud code to your Parse Server stack?

There are some cases where you may want to develop your own cloud code, so as to make Parse work in a non-standard way, or make it perform a desired operation when certains conditions are met. You can find more information about this in the Parse official documentation. In order to add your custom cloud code to your Parse Server stack, please follow the steps below:

  • Stop the Parse server:

       $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop parse
  • Create a cloud directory in /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/

       $ sudo mkdir -p /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/cloud
  • Edit the script at /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/

       $ cd /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/
       $ vim server.js
  • Edit the ParseServer variable and modify the cloud object following the example below:

       var api = new ParseServer({
         databaseURI: "mongodb://root:MONGODB_PASSWORD@",
         cloud: "./cloud/main.js",
         appId: "APP_ID",
         masterKey: "MASTER_KEY",
         fileKey: "FILE_KEY",
         serverURL: 'http://SERVER-IP:80/parse'

Remember to replace the MONGODB_PASSWORD, APP_ID, MASTER_KEY, FILE_KEY and SERVER-IP placeholders with your MongoDB administrator account password, application ID, application master key, application file key and server's public IP address respectively.

  • Restart the Parse server:

       $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart parse

How to authenticate requests against the Parse API?

When accessing the Bitnami Parse Server Stack via a browser or other HTTP client, you may see a response that states:


This occurs if your request does not include the necessary credentials. To resolve this, first obtain your Application ID and Master Key from the /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/server.js file. Then, issue a request containing these credentials.

Here is a sample request to store a file:

$ curl -X POST -H "X-Parse-Application-Id: APP_ID" -H "X-Parse-Master-Key: MASTER_KEY" -H "Content-Type: text/plain" -d '{"score":1337,"playerName":"Sean Plott","cheatMode":false}' http://SERVER-IP/parse/classes/GameScore

Remember to replace the APP_ID and MASTER_KEY placeholders with the actual access credentials. Following this, execute the following request to obtain information about the file stored previously:

$ curl -X GET -H "X-Parse-Application-Id: APP_ID" http://SERVER-IP/parse/classes/GameScore

How to enable HTTP authentication for the Parse Dashboard?

To enable basic HTTP authentication for the Parse Dashboard, please follow the steps below:

  • Stop the Parse server:

       $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ stop parse
  • Edit the script at /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs

       $ cd /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs
       $ vim server.js
  • Edit the dashboard variable and add a new object following the example below:

       var dashboard = new ParseDashboard({
           apps: [
           users: [
                   user: 'USERNAME',
                   pass: 'PASSWORD'

    Remember to replace the USERNAME and PASSWORD placeholders with the desired access credentials, and ensure that there are no syntax errors, such as missing commas.

  • Restart the Parse server:

       $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart parse

How to force HTTPS in the Bitnami Parse Server Stack?

When you design your own application and make requests to the Parse API you design, your Application ID will be sent in plaintext in API requests. This is dangerous, since anyone with bad intentions could sniff them and break into the application, or even worse, access confidential data from your clients.

To force HTTPS for all API requests, follow these steps:

  • Modify your /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/httpd-vhosts.conf file so that it fits with this structure.

       <VirtualHost *:80>
           ServerName DOMAIN
           ServerAlias www.DOMAIN
           RewriteEngine On
           RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
           RewriteRule (.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}$1 [R,L]
       <VirtualHost *:443>
           ServerName DOMAIN
           ServerAlias www.DOMAIN
           SSLEngine on
           SSLCertificateFile "/opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/certs/server.crt"
           SSLCertificateKeyFile "/opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/certs/server.key"
           Include "/opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/httpd-app.conf"

    Please remember to replace the DOMAIN placeholders with the corresponding domain name.

  • Open the Apache vhosts file at /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/bitnami/bitnami-apps-vhosts.conf and add the following line:

       Include "/opt/bitnami/apps/parse/conf/httpd-vhosts.conf"
  • Edit the serverURL variable property from both api and dashboard objects in the script found at /opt/bitnami/apps/parse/htdocs/server.js:

       serverURL: "https://SERVER-IP/parse",

    Please remember to replace the SERVER-IP placeholder with the corresponding public IP or domain name.

  • Restart the stack servers:

       $ sudo /opt/bitnami/ restart 

Your application should now force HTTPS for all API requests correctly.

For more information about this process, refer to this section.